Why SEOs Shouldn’t Forget About Usability
Many SEOs and website owners can be guilty of being so focused on getting their website to page 1 on Google for their keywords that they forget to prepare their site for visitors. SEO is like the old adage, you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Equally you can get lots of new visitors to your sight through SEO but you can’t make them buy your product or use your service. Therefore good usability analysis of websites is a crucial part of SEO and it shouldn’t be viewed as separate or as an afterthought. So let’s take a look at why we shouldn’t overlook usability.
It Tells Us About Our Customers
Knowing how to analyse your customer’s behaviour and activity on your site will give you an insight to their habits, preferences and most importantly what works for them and what doesn’t. This is vital for improving your conversion rate of visitors to paying customers and after all that’s the name of the game isn’t it? If you can see where your customers are dropping out of your site then it will tell you a lot about what’s turning them off. Perhaps they are being overwhelmed with information and the page needs to be simplified or perhaps they can’t find where they need to go to make a purchase. Whatever the case, analysis will show the problem areas you need to address.
It Keeps Everything Working
I have been shocked at the amount of times I have conducted a usability analysis for a site only to find that their contact form isn’t working or that items can’t be added to the basket in order to make a purchase. When you are continuously performing usability analysis on your website then you can keep tabs on any little faults that may occur and make required updates. Having a website that runs smoothly is vital for any online business; you wouldn’t allow the front door of your shop to remain jammed and stopping people from coming in so why allow the equivalent for your online store?
You Can Track Your Goals
Whether you are monitoring your own site on that of your client, good usability analysis will allow you to set specific goals for the site and monitor their success. For example an ecommerce site’s main goal may be to sell beds therefore you can track how many clicks it takes for a visitor to get from the homepage to the beds page and from there to the checkout. You may find that a lot of users are dropping out at one particular part of this process, perhaps they are being asked for too many details in the checkout process or they need to register before they can buy a bed. All of this information can be used to make the user experience easier which should in turn generate more sales for the website.
It Makes Everything Easier
The problem that many SEOs have is that they are constantly trying to please Google and so they forget that the best way to please Google is not to worry so much what they think and focus instead on the user. You should always take the needs of the user into account and that includes making a website as user friendly as possible, whether it’s adding easy to see icons to help them make a purchase or adding less technical jargon to a page so that everyone can understand it. Usability and SEO go hand in hand as one doesn’t make sense without the other.
Brendan Garvey is a SEO and usability expert who believes that each of them is as important as each other when it comes to having a successful website.